Saturday, May 15, 2010

Octobriana is "Public Domain" - what does that mean exactly ?

The last post  was an attempt to list Octobriana's super powers - but one is missing ... a very specific attribute inherited by a people's "Super Heroine" - yep, there's one more, and it defines exactly what's so special about Octobriana - she's a  public domain character - and that beats the crap out of all the super mutants that have a copyright or a brand tattooed on their back.

See, when artists are drawing fan art for "Power Girl(c)", "Wonder woman(c)", "Wolverine(c)", "Storm(c)" etc ... they have to add something like "This character belongs to DC Comics" or  "This character belongs to Marvel Comics" - Why ? because "Power Girl(c)", "Superman(c)" etc ... are like merchandises with a DRM implanted in their very core. That is not necessarily a bad thing, since only their legal owner (and nobody else) can exploit the character and do whatever he wants with the story of their merchandise, so that keep a continuity in their adventure.

And that explains why Octobriana have been reinvented (more or less with the same attributes) by many artists interested in implementing her in their new adventures (see Octobriana comics Timeline). Since she's free - or belong to the Public domain, there's no string attached.

Now you may be wondering why Octobriana is public domain ?  well, it has something to do with the fact that her creation is an hoax - she was invented by Petr Sadecky (but in fact created by other artists (Bohumil Konecny and Zdenek Burian) under the name Amazona) - and secondly Sadecky pretended that Octobriana was the product of an Russian underground party (PPP) therefor she belongs to nobody in particular.

That doesn't mean that anyone can re-use Octobriana's illustration from the book "Octobriana and the Russian Underground" or drawing made by Shaun Bryan (like the picture used in this post) - Octobriana as a character is public domain, but all artworks, scripts, movies and story are protected by copyright.

Another instance of  a similar heroine is Jenny Everywhere, but an artist who wants to "use" Jenny has to add a little paragraph ; since she's labeled as an "Open Source" character - you can read details about it on this website Who is Jenny Everywhere? and read this very interesting page  "in search of jenny everywhere"

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